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Living Jewish: Living Chesed

Acts of kindness have an exponential effect on our environment. Just imagine this. A man on his way to work drops his wallet, but fails to notice. About an hour later, a knock on his office door interrupts his concentration – and he’s about to admonish the intruder. But, before he has the opportunity to do so, the stranger hands over the wallet, and says… “This is yours, I believe.” The man, rises from his chair, a bewildered look on his face. Instinctively he taps his back pocket. Recognizing what had just occurred, he thanks the stranger who immediately takes his leave.

As the man sat back on his chair, with his demeanor changed, and his being filled with good will, he notices a postcard on his desk. It was an urgent call to participate in a blood drive that afternoon. Brimming inwardly with the good fortune that befell him, he hurries over to add his contribution to a very worthwhile cause. Upon his return, co-workers ask what prompted his urgent excursion. He tells them, and wouldn’t you know… many others follow suit.

Judaism’s foundation is embedded in social awareness and acts of kindness. Chesed, (pronounced khe-sed, is Hebrew for compassion and loving-kindness), according to Ethics of Our Fathers, is one of three pillars that support the world. The Talmudic sage, Rabbi Akiva, is famous for saying that "’loving your neighbor as you love yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18) is a fundamental rule in the Torah.” And Old Rabbi Hillel asserted, when asked to summarize the Torah: "What is hateful to you, do not do to others,” from which one can extrapolate – the converse – “Do for others what you would want done for you.”

In this spirit, is proud to promote organizations that devote time and energy to helping people in their time of need. is also devoting these pages to tell the story of the power of kindness. Please, write to us and share with the world inspiring stories of chesed, kindness, and charitable acts the have enriched your life and impacted the lives of others.

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Read more about Chesed and Jewish Charity by clicking below.
 • Charitable Organizations

  • The Rich Go to Heaven: Giving Charity in Jewish Thought by Chaim Miller


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